Nail-gun questions

I have a few nail gun questions, this group may be able to help me out with.

A friend is putting up a log-cabin house. ( 2600 sq. ft ) We are going to start the sub-floor, in about 2 weeks.

It looks like there is going to be about 250 I-Joist, hangers. ( Simpson Strong-Tie ) These are about 10 ft up, so hand nailing is going to be slow and awkward. (not to mention the smashed brackets & bent nails) :-)

I found this:

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"No framing nail-gun unless"

  1. Correct diameter & length.
  2. Driven with a hole locating tool ( finds the hole ) or by hand.

If "by hand", they mean eye-ball, I don't think that's going to work.

So now the questions: I've found only two nail guns with hole-locators. Senco $400 & Hatachi $500.

Are there any others that anyone knows about? It has to use full-head nails.

Is it possible to modify/adapt a framing-gun, to a hole locator? ( metal content ). My 2 framing-guns, are already at the job-site, so I can't look at mine. I'll look at some later today.

I've never seen one of these, so I don't know if it's possible. I think chances of finding one to look at in a store, are slim. They seem to be rare items.

Another question. Is there any use for a palm-nailer, other than craking nuts & scareing the dog?

If anyone has a hole-locating nail-gun, I'd like hear about it. ( maybe pictures ). Ant gotchya's with these ?

Last question. Is there any recomended pilot hole diameter for lag-bolts. All I've found id 40-70% of bolt dia. I usually test drill 'till it feels right. Is there any reason *NOT* to use an impact wrench on lag bolts? Also I think they should be set dry.

Side note. He's mumbling about putting up another house & maybe a hunting/fishing lodge, so $400-$500 for a nail-gun, may be justifiable. This is on a 20 acre island in Bonanza, OR. ( for those that may want some entertainment, stop by ) :-)

Thanks for any help that can be provided.

Reply to
Gary A. Gorgen
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I think you will find this to be the cheapest method of nailing off joist hangers:

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(only to show the type of tool- other brands and sources are available) It allows using the standard joist nails.

If you want to use a dedicated nailer look here:

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(top posted for your convenience) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Keep the whole world singing . . . . DanG (remove the sevens)

Reply to

Why not use screws They need to be as thick thru the shank not including the spiral thread as a joint hanger nail Joist hanger nails are mild steel, nothing special. Or perhaps the cost of the screws would be too costly. You can certainly get decent sized pan headed screws.

Reply to

As far as I know, they are not approved by any testing agency and will be rejected by inspectors. This would be especially true of any of the brittle "drywall" type screws.

(top posted for your convenience) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Keep the whole world singing . . . . DanG (remove the sevens)

Reply to

Can't really answer your question, but as far as the guns go......

I don't know about Senco, but the Hitachi is looked on very favourably. I have a Bostich/Stanley that suffers from an inferior trigger design. It fails to lack of use, and it fails to too much use! So either way it is going out on you.....and usually at 5:01 on weekdays, and 12:01 on you will always be without when you need it, and the repair centers will always be closed.

When I was getting the trigger replaced for the 4th time on my framing hammer, I asked about the Hitachi, and the repair center says they have to work on very few Hitachi's.

So, I could have bought a Hitachi for around $450, but instead got a cheaper one.......Paid $295 plus 4 triggers at $50 I am into it for more or less $500. Pay now, or pay later.

Get the Hitachi.....or get the palm nailer like the other person in this thread suggested.

Reply to
Jim Newell



nails) :-)

going to work.





nuts & scareing the dog?

about it.




I've used a palm nailer for joist hangers. I seem to recall a tool review in Fine Homebuilding or Journal of Light Construction on joist hanger nailers but I can't find it right now. You might want to post your questions at their forums-both magazines have web sites.

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Reply to

Their website states screws are NOT ALLOWED. That was the first thing I thought of. :-)

Reply to
Gary A. Gorgen

If you ever find out how to disable the builtin failure clocks, let me know. :-) It seems everything has one.

That's good to know, about the Hatachi reliability. Thanks I've never used a palm nailer. I would think that a "shot nail" would have better/longer holding power that a "driven nail". Is this true?

It looks like most palm nailers, suck about 8 CFM. We will only have an 8 CFM compressor, until we get power, which may not be there when we start.

Reply to
Gary A. Gorgen

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Thats just what I need. I like the first paragraph. :-) Thanks,

Reply to
Gary A. Gorgen


Might be they're referring to something like a pneumatic palm nailer, you certainly have to locate the nail by hand with that. The one I have is an HF cheapie that I got to see how well the concept works.

trying to do. If it's just going to be a one-time thing, get the HF cheapie, otherwise get a name-brand item. The leather encasement is a good idea unless you like wearing one of those anti-vibration gloves. My only complaint is that the HF cheapie doesn't go down small enough, I'd like to use it for nailing up small crates and the like using ring shank box nails but the smallest sleeve is too big for the nails I want to use. The manual says it'll handle up to something like 150p nails, but I'd bet it'd be a slow process driving them. It does use standard by-the-pound hardware store nails. Was like $15-20 at the store on sale.

I'd consider it a lot safer and more controllable than a nail gun, just slower. It doesn't take much of a compressor to run, either.


Reply to

I have the Senco palm nailer, run it just fine off a Hitachi EC12 which is rated at 4 cfm. I doubt that these palm nailers draw anywhere near 8 cfm. Palm nailer control is in the amount of pressure applied by your hand - stop pushing and it quits driving. A palm nailer is also excellent for sinking nails that were left standing out: framing nails, fence nails, whatever. Leaves a much smaller mark than a framing hammer. I have several Hitachi products and all are lightweight and low-maintenance.

Reply to

The specs on the Tradesman are:

Only 50 -125 P.S.I. ( 2-4 CFM) required to operate

Reply to

"Gary A. Gorgen" wrote in news:HNSdnWE-jt6avfTfRVn-

Remember: the palm nailers won't be sucking air continuously and, thus, will give your compressor a chance to replenish the supply.

Reply to

That's what happens when I use harborfreight as a reference. :-) Their palm-nailer draws 8 CFM. so they say.

The Tradesman, that was mentioned is rated at 2-4 CFM.

Reply to
Gary A. Gorgen

They also make your wrist sore if you use 'em for long enough.

Reply to
Dave Hinz

Buy a coil nailer, they are heavy but fast and reliable. Stick nailers have several diffent angle nails and I found out the hard way.

Bostich coil nailer

I think they are worried about nail placement because the nails may goflying into your eye if you miss the hole

Reply to

So big deal if you have to wait 15 seconds between each nail for the air to build up - that's a good way to avoid repetitive stress problems. As long as three people aren't trying to share one little 2 HP pancake compressor, that's not a huge problem.

Go rent a 175 CFM gas-engine pavement breaker compressor, and build yourself a distribution manifold. That'll solve the problem, darned thing will run 20 or 30 palm nailers wide open... ;-)

As sore as you get sinking all those stupid nails by hand with a two-pound war-club sized framing hammer? I Don't Think So... ;-)

(That's why they make vibration-stop gloves with the extra padding.)

I would much rather spend the bucks on the right tool for the job (in this case the Hitachi NR65AK) than sit there bending nails and pulling them out.

When we change out power panels we often find they placed the studs to fit the old narrower panels, and I usually have to modify the blocking in the walls and place a header and trimmers to get a proper

16" OC hole.

My toe-nailing by hand sucks bigtime (especially lefty or at odd angles) but with a framing nailer I'm done in 15 seconds.


Reply to
Bruce L. Bergman

At least two others that I know of. Paslode (which I have used regularly as a framing carpenter for the last six years or so) or I believe Max (which I've never used). I have never seen any of the other models in person. I've read the Senco sucks and the Hitachi is pretty good. The Paslode seems to rule my region. I use Senco and Hitachi guns exclusively for my other fastening needs but this Paslode has been a good tool also.

I wouldn't want to go without the Paslode for long. It has relieved alot of the tedium of an otherwise time consuming, repetitive task. Be forewarned that the fasteners for it aren't on the cheap side. They are hardened nails, not just run of the mill mild steel.I give about $45 or so for a box of bright basic 1 1/2" nails for the gun. You can more than double that if you need hot dipped galvanized.

Probably but I don't believe they would still meet the letter of the law as the fasteners collated to fit them won't meet the specs of codes (shank diameter will probably be too small). I had a former partner that used to blast away with a standard gun on hangers all the time, usually with decent results. But if the inspectors had cared to notice we would have gotten red tagged for all the innappropriate fasteners he used.

Go to a contractor's supply type place. Anywhere professional quality pneumatic tools are sold should have one model at least.

They work great in tight quarters. Lots of places are hard to get the guns into. But palm nailers are dead slow compared to conventional guns. And they make plenty of racket to boot.

Look on Should be able to find pictures of most of the available models.

Reply to
Dick Streff

Reply to

I'd like to thank everyone for help on my nail-gun questions. I knew this group would come through.

We will be getting the Hatachi NR65AKS gun & a Tradesman palm-nailer. The NR65AKS has a short magazine & weighs 5.5 lb. The NR65AK has a long magazine & weighs 6.2 lb.

Believe it or not, Home Depot had a demo "S" model. But they dont stock any Hitachi nail-guns or nails. So I got to do the touchy-feely with it, didn't take long to make a decision, a quality tool indeed.

The review link, that "DanG" posted says it all. One important point in the review, is inspections. The Hitachi & maybe others, use coded nails so you don't have to pull nails for the inspector.

The Hitachi, uses nail stickout, to locate the hole, which should work well. ( I do the same thing with my MIG, when spotwelding through holes, especially when you can't see where the hole is ) ;-)

Should I write a review of this, when we're finished?

AND special thanks to "Bruce L. Bergman", Who thought he was being funny recomending a 175 CFM compressor. :-)

All I can say is, "Thats what I started with !".

A slight overkill, but, when you need air ..., the 8 CFM gas rig will work 'till there is power. Which I think, will be 3ph!, some power company requirement. I don't know the details.

while I'm rambling, Sometimes it dosen't pay, to try to be funny. Last night, my friend & his wife ( I'd never met ) showed up at the local pub. I told her that now she's going to live on an island, that her island needed a "Lighthouse". Both of them looked at me with this scary look. "WOW, what a great idea", "you can build the lighthouse", "We both love lighthouses".

The project so far:

1 bridge, built from a railroad flatcar. finished. Log cabin house. to be delivered. Now, 1 lighthouse.

I didn't know you could buy a lighthouse, but you can!

Thanks again for all of the info.

Reply to
Gary A. Gorgen

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